Here are the latest rugby headlines on Thursday, January 4.
The Cardiff duo stayed put
Cardiff and Wales rugby props Corey Domachowski and Keiron Assiratti have decided not to move to England and sign new contracts in the Welsh capital.
The duo are two of many Welsh players sought after by clubs in England, but moving across this bridge means they have to give up their international careers as neither of them can meet the requirements. threshold of 25 caps for the team. Both players made their Wales debuts against England ahead of the Rugby World Cup, with Domachowski going on to play five matches at the tournament. Assiratti failed to make the final squad but is expected to be called up by Warren Gatland for the Six Nations.
BBC reported that both men have signed new contracts with Cardiff. However, the Welsh side will lose Rhys Carre to Saracens and Tomos Williams to Gloucester, as reported by WalesOnline last month. Get the latest rugby news sent straight to your inbox for free with our daily newsletter.
Elsewhere, the Dragons are fighting to keep hold of Aaron Wainwright, Rio Dyer, Taine Basham and Leon Brown.
Former Welsh player passed away
Former Swansea RFC player and Wales international Bryan Richards has passed away at the age of 91, the club announced. Richards is the oldest living Welshman outside.
He also played for Cambridge University and won his solitary Wales cap in a Five Nations match against France in 1960.
Nicknamed ‘The Shrimp’, he appeared for Swansea against Romania in 1955, Australia in 1958 and South Africa in 1960. He made his Barbarian debut against East Midlands in 1963 and played one match for Llanelli on 3 January. March 1962.
Swansea said he died after a short illness at the end of December. The club said: “The thoughts of everyone at St Helen’s are with his son Rob and his family at this difficult time ”.
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England face a Six Nations injury crisis
By Andrew Baldock, PA Football League Reporter
Harlequins prop Joe Marler’s arm injury is being assessed by experts amid top concerns for England ahead of the Guinness Six Nations.
Marler’s fellow loose props Ellis Genge, Bevan Rodd, Mako Vunipola and Val Rapava-Ruskin are all currently sidelined.
And Quins are awaiting a full medical verdict on Marler, who came off the bench in the Gallagher Premiership win over Gloucester at Twickenham on Saturday.
England head coach Steve Borthwick is likely to have a headache just a month before England’s Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome.
His issues include a four-match ban for Saracens’ Vunipola, who was sent off for a dangerous tackle against Premiership rivals Newcastle.
Although he will be available if required for the Six Nations, experienced campaigner Vunipola cannot play again until after Saracens’ Premiership date with Exeter, just a week before the Italy clash.
Vunipola missed out on the Rugby World Cup in France, as Borthwick picked Genge, Marler and Rodd to fill three loose spots.
Genge, a candidate for the England captaincy following Owen Farrell’s decision to miss the Six Nations, last featured for his club Bristol on December 2. He has been sidelined through injury hamstring.
Striker Rodd is out for the rest of this season after undergoing toe surgery and Gloucester’s Rapava-Ruskin, who was part of England’s World Cup squad last year, is also One player is absent for a long time after knee surgery.
Borthwick will announce its Six Nations squad in the near future, with the support seemingly under strain.
English players separate from Union
The England men’s team has ended its relationship with the Rugby Players’ Association, it has been announced.
The RPA has represented England players for 20 years in negotiations over fees and commercial agreements with the RFU but last night the players withdrew. RPA will continue to represent England until this summer.
The move follows plans by the RFU to introduce 25 combined contracts as part of the new Professional Gaming Partnership (PGP). RPA said it will continue to support rugby players alongside the England men’s team.
A statement added: “A current male representative of the Elite Player Squad has confirmed that the team will fully support the RPA in assisting players across the game in the UK.”